Next to Brian Kelly Bob Diaco will be the man most under pressure when Notre Dame begin their new season. The defensive coordinator has been telling how he plans to repair the leaky sieve that was Notre Dame's rearguard last season.
Consider this, in November they conceded 260 rushing yards against Navy, 152 against Pittsburgh, 244 against Connecticut and 205 against Stanford.
Notre Dame ended up ranked 86th out of 120th in total defense. Little wonder former defensive guru Jon Tenuta was the first guy out the door after the season ended.
Diaco will be different he says. He told the South Bend Tribune that 'he's an energy guy."
"Genuinely, there are some core principles to playing great defense," Diaco said. "Effort. Hustle. Tackling. Maintaining the top of the defense. That won't change. The bulk of the work and preparation is built into that."
Diaco knows how important confidence is to the makeup of the team and they lost if after their shattering November.
"Confidence comes from the preparation," Diaco said. "We like to believe that how the information is going to be communicated to the player is top tier. The fundamentals that we're going to work every day; the nuts and bolts things that need to be done, will be done - we won't miss a day."
"We'll have a clear focus on those nuts and bolts - blocking and tackling; block destruction; ball security. At particular points in the season, where you're so focused on a particular formation, or player, or system, you lose some of those core fundamentals. Under (Head) Coach (Brian) Kelly, our philosophy, that never happens. The nuts and bolts things are addressed each day and worked each day."
Diaco believes preparation is the key. "At the end, Thursday night, Friday, as we transition into the real prep for game day (the players) are gonna feel well-prepared," Diaco told the South bend Tribune .
"They're gonna be well-prepared. There won't be a situation where we're trying to con them into feeling well-prepared with some kind of fabricated, ‘Hey, you've gotta have a swagger; some kind of pep talk.'
"Never happens. Coach Kelly doesn't do it. They're not gonna play great because of some speech. It's in the preparation."
Diaco even quotes St. Augustine "I read a quote ... from St. Augustine, and I thought it was just awesome," Diaco said. "'With love and diligence, anything is possible.' That's present in the coaching and teaching every single day.
"I love teaching young men to become productive young men through football. That's really it."
St. Augustine is fine but stop that run!